The Upside of BI Market Consolidation - InformationWeek

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Commentary
3/2/2007
03:12 PM
Neil Raden
Neil Raden
Commentary
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The Upside of BI Market Consolidation

Other analysts are preoccupied with the Oracle/Hyperion deal, but I'm not. There are so many important things to keep on top of that the financial doings of the industry are only secondary interests for me... Some worry about consolidation of the market. I don't. There are dozens of companies waiting in the wings to become the next Hyperion... These deals are usually about buying either a client list, a sales force or maintenance revenue stream.

Other analysts are preoccupied with the Oracle/Hyperion deal, but I'm not. There are so many important things to keep on top of that the financial doings of the industry are only secondary interests for me. After all, Hyperion itself is composed of three major companies - Arbor, Hyperion Software and Brio, some of which made major acquisitions of their own, including Brio's purchase of Scribe (SQR). This is just another step in an endless process. Some worry about consolidation of the market. I don't. There are dozens of companies waiting in the wings to become the next Hyperion.While many wring their hands over whether this is good for the market or not, and worry about whether certain products will get thrown under the bus (like Express, for example), the reality is plain as day - the products don't matter. What matters in a software company is execution. These mergers are usually about buying either a client list, a sales force or maintenance revenue stream (or in rare circumstances, if you're rich enough, to buy a competitor and euthanize them). What creates value in a software company is the ability to monetize the technology. Bob Earle and Jim Dorian created Essbase. Diaz Nesamoney and Guarav Dhillon created Informatica. Mike Saylor and Sanju Bansal created Microstrategy. What made those software products valuable was the successful marketing and sales efforts that turned them all into nine-figure companies. Ultimately, this will be good for the industry, as lots of talented people will be cut loose to seek their destiny elsewhere. Will the continued consolidation of BI act like a damper on innovation? I doubt it. First, BI is too important to organizations to stagnate. There will always be a receptive market for a better idea. Second, BI as we know it is in the late adopter phase anyway, and this acquisition is a BI 1.0 play, not a BI 2.0 play, like Cognos' acquisition of Celequest was. The real action will be in Operational BI, not BPM.

Neil Raden is the founder of Hired Brains, providers of consulting, research and analysis in Business Intelligence, Performance Management, real-time analytics and information/semantic integration. Don't miss Neil's many insightful articles in the Intelligent Enterprise archive.Other analysts are preoccupied with the Oracle/Hyperion deal, but I'm not. There are so many important things to keep on top of that the financial doings of the industry are only secondary interests for me... Some worry about consolidation of the market. I don't. There are dozens of companies waiting in the wings to become the next Hyperion... These deals are usually about buying either a client list, a sales force or maintenance revenue stream.

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